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Poul Henningsen

Ordrup 1894 - Kopenhagen 1967


The Danish architect and designer Poul Henningsen attended the Tekniske Skole in Copenhagen from 1911 until 1914 before studying architecture at the Polyteknisk Laeranstalt from 1915 until 1917. From 1920 Poul Henningsen freelanced as an architect while also working as a journalist, writing for numerous journals and newspapers.
Poul Henningsen became famous worldwide as the designer of lighting made by the Copenhagen firm of Louis Poulsen. "PH" lamps were the results of the ten years Poul Henningsen spent developing lighting that was not harsh and glaring but shed warm, soft light. The first lamps in the "PH" range were shown at the 1925 "Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes" in Paris, where they were universally acclaimed. From the mid-1920s, Poul Henningsen's lamps were sold with great success worldwide.
By the time he died in 1967, Poul Henningsen had designed more than one hundred lamps for the "PH" range, all of them based on the original idea of multiple shades and diffusors to provide warm, diffuse light. Among Poul Hennigsen's best known designs is the "PH Louvre", a pendent ceiling lamp featuring thirteen concentrically arranged metal shades that scatter light on all sides. In 1958 Poul Henningsen designed the "PH Snowball", a pendent lamp with eight aluminium shades. The 1957 "PH Artichoke" is a pendent lamp with the light bulb surrounded by reflectors in a scale pattern. Consequently, the lamp looks like a pinecone or artichoke - hence the name.


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